Saturday, October 17, 2015

Choosing My Own Adventure

      I have always loved reading. In fact to this day my friend and sister love to remind me of the shirt I proudly wore as a child; "So many books, so little time." Yes, I was a nerd, a nerd who loved to read and live vicariously through the characters and their stories. Who remembers the Choose Your Own Adventure book series? The books that allowed you the reader to choose your own ending, as well as how the story panned out. I loved these because it gave me the opportunity to be the writer, not solely the reader. I was in charge of the story and the outcomes.

 Years later, I am the author of this blog and more importantly the writer of my story. I have been fortunate enough to share my stories with all of you. The story of a broken girl who picked up the pieces and built her future. A girl who refused to stay down, no matter how many times she was knocked down. A story of bravery and courage and survival. A story of a girl who found and got to experience her happily ever after. Similar to the adventure books, I chose each and every part of the story. In reality, I may not have chosen the situations, but I have chosen my reactions to them. Every choice has led me to now. And just when I thought I had the story all pieced together, a perfect blend of past hurts and struggles to current and future happiness, the story has a twist.
        It has taken me many years to heal from the surgery that changed me, the surgery that transformed me. The surgery that left me in more pain that I could handle; physically and emotionally. The surgery that left a scar much larger than the visible one on my abdomen. The surgery that left me unable to have the baby bump, the ultrasounds, the bond of carrying my child inside of me and experiencing one of the deepest forms of love possible; giving birth. The surgery that left me to figure out What to Expect When You're NOT Expecting This is one of the chapters of the story that I may have skipped over while reading if in a Choose Your Own Adventure book. Or, like most of us did, start reading it and realize that what you just read was NOT what you wanted and go back. Unfortunately for me, there is no going back and this chapter has and always will be a part of my story. After many years of dealing with the pains my hysterectomy left behind, I have gotten to a place where I am accepting of it. I will never be "okay" with it, because I can't help but long for the experiences I am being denied. But, I had gotten to a point where I was no longer angry, no longer bitter, and I was able to accept that I will have my own set of experiences, and that although the path to having my child will be different, the ending will be the same. I was alright with it. Until, after extensive review of my medical files in their entirety I got news that was almost as awful as the day they told me I needed a hysterectomy. "You should have never had that surgery. The hysterectomy was unnecessary and could and should have been avoided if not by the fault of previous surgeons." And just like that the pain I had worked so hard on healing, the open wound I had finally watched heal, was now ripped open again.Hearing that my hysterectomy could have been avoided, could have not happened was a blow. The knock out blow that I never saw coming. My guard was down, my gloves down by my side. This fighter hit the mat, and hit it hard. How am I supposed to be okay now? How am I supposed to feel after hearing that the first eight surgeries I had were done so inadequately that I had to undergo a surgery at the age of 24? That the lab reports all showed precancerous changes and nothing that would indicate a diagnosis of cervical cancer and/or a need for such an invasive surgery??I felt like my entire story should be erased, that I should be able to flip back to the part right before this, and be able to choose a different adventure.But this isn't a Choose Your Own Adventure book, because this adventure was chosen for me. There is no re write, no option of going back and changing it. Instead, I have to do what I have always done, pick up the pieces and move forward.
       I debated for weeks about whether to share this, if I was even ready to. I am choosing to share it because it is a part of my story. The story continues. Each and every moment, happy and sad, has led me to exactly where I am right now. Life isn't a fairy tale, there is no option to edit and write another draft. This is our one shot, our one chance. Sometimes it is hard, sometimes its messy, and sometimes its sad. But the best part is, its not over. This is not the end, it is just another part of the story. A part that reminds me that I can not change what has happened but I can instead embrace it, and know that although I did not want the surgery and I wish it never happened, it did. But that surgery changed me, that surgery made me stronger and made me a survivor. I may have lost a lot from the surgery, but I also gained. I gained a new outlook on life. I learned to push myself even when I am so close to giving up. I learned to look for the bright side of things, because it could always be worse. I learned to be positive, to love wholeheartedly and found someone who loves me  the same. I found that I am tougher than I could have ever imagined and determined. I can and I will overcome whatever comes my way because I am a fighter.
      The amazing thing about choosing your own adventure is that no matter which way you get there, the ending is still available. The story continues, and my journey to parenthood continues. I may not have chosen the path to get here, but I am here. The rest of my story is still unwritten. And I am ready for the next chapter :)

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